Casey and Gibbs chilling after the spider incidentMum is usually a quiet sort of person.  She’s not prone to loud outbursts so when a strange sound emerged from her mouth the other day, it was the sort of noise a cat – if he is on the ball – will take notice of.   Both Gibbs and I rushed to the scene; I more leisurely than Gibbs as I don’t ‘do’ rushing about, as you know.  We found Mum in the hallway, staring up at the ceiling where a ginormous spider was ambling along as if he hadn’t a care in the world.  He probably didn’t have a care in the world, being unaware of the consternation bubbling up just below him in one human being and two feline beings.

Gibbs, as he is wont to do, took charge of the situation.  ‘I don’t ‘do’ spiders,’ he said, and left me and Mum to deal with it.  The spider, by now, had reached the wall and was making his descent.  He’d obviously learnt abseiling in spider school and was making short work of our tall walls.  Mum’s face was going all sorts of funny colours as she looked on, helpless and hopeless.

Having reached the floor, the spider slowly walked across the hall carpet.  That seemed to galvanise Mum into action.  She shrieked a bit which made the spider stop in his tracks.  ‘Ask him to leave,’ I told Mum.  She looked at me, then back at the spider.

‘Please would you leave, and not return,’ she said, as politely and firmly as she could muster.

The spider stood his ground.  With eight legs to two, plus my four, he had the advantage of two extra legs.  Mum backed down the hallway to the kitchen and grabbed the ‘mouse catcher’.  This is a tall container which was originally for cereal or flour but was called into use when Ollie brought live mice into the house.  Since Ollie’s parting, it hasn’t been called into action – till now.

‘Good thinking, Mum,’ I said, making sure the spider didn’t advance any further. ‘Quick, he’s looking shifty.’

The spider had made use of the time that Mum had inched her way into the kitchen to plan his new strategy.  He started walking backwards towards the front door.  This worked to our advantage – if only Mum could grab him in the mouse catcher.

She crept back.  She waited for the right moment.  I hovered behind her ready to run like mad if he changed direction.  I held my breath, my whiskers at attention, with the excitement of it all.  She dropped the mouse catcher on top of the spider.  He had nowhere to run to now.  All Mum had to do was to scoop up the catcher with the spider inside and hey, presto, release him.  Simple.

Slowly, she carefully lifted the mouse catcher, now renamed the ‘spider grabber’ and opened the front door.  As she opened the door, the spider had somehow managed to climb up the sheer sides of the container and launched himself out the top.  Fortunately, Mum had the door open at the precise moment he made his leap for freedom.  He landed on the path.  Without a backward glance, and with all eight legs going at a gallop, he sped off down the path, to the pavement (sidewalk), never to be seen again, hopefully.

‘We did it!’ said Gibbs, who had chosen to return.

‘Hmmmph,’ I said, as I wound myself around Mum’s legs in admiration.

‘Hmmmph,’ Mum said, as she stroked both of us.


A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras